NASB 2020 Update News and Review

After more than two years of anticipation, The Lockman Foundation has published the New American Standard Bible 2020 version. Numerous print editions were released on August 28, 2020, a Kindle edition on October 14 and a free download edition from also became available. Currently, the best site to discover the available editions and purchase sources is The Lockman Foundation’s site for NASB 2020.

At the present time, Zondervan anticipates their first wave of Zondervan NASB 2020 editions to appear in the spring of 2021. However, The Lockman Foundation will continue to allow the publication of the NASB 95 update alongside the NASB 2020 version, which will please the NASB 95’s many fans.

Also, in parallel with the above efforts, John MacArthur and The Master’s Seminary, with The Lockman Foundation’s permission and under its 2021 copyright, are creating the Legacy Standard Bible, a classic edition of the NASB. Abner Chou is heading the project. The LSB New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs is now available for preorder from 316 Publishing, delivery should be in March of 2021. If you want a sample of it right now, you can download a free pdf of the LSB’s Gospel of Mark and one of Philippians and hear John MacArthur and Abner Chou discuss the goals of the project at One of their decisions is to translate all instances of LORD to Yahweh in the Old Testament. Another is to bring the modern reader back to the culture of the biblical writer. In general, they want to refine the work of the NASB95, not create a new version of it. The “LSB” and “Legacy Standard Bible” are trademarks of The Lockman Foundation.

My Review

This post has been a work-in-process since September 12th, 2018 when Lockman started posting NASB 2020 passages on its Facebook page. The following sample of passages is generally the order in which they were released by Lockman. The NASB 2020 has updated many passages, included below are examples of the types of changes they are making, so the reader can get an idea of what to expect:

Bible on table with Candle

Capitalization of Divine Names and Pronouns

Gender Specificity

A Wordy James 5:16

A Clearer Isaiah 53:4

A More Accurate Luke 1:26–38

A Mixed Deuteronomy 31:1-6

Disappointing Choices in John 1:14-18

The Lost Poetry of Psalm 27

“Transgressions” to “Offenses” in Colossians 2:8-15

A Few Good Changes to Joshua 1:1-9


Capitalization of Divine Names and Pronouns

I was pleased to learn that the NASB 2020 will continue to capitalize pronouns and names pertaining to God, few translations still do. For example, when the Holman Christian Standard Bible translation was updated to the Christian Standard Bible in 2017, they dropped the capitalization (see my: The “Christian Standard Bible” 2017 Review).

The reason often cited for not capitalizing the personal pronouns pertaining to God is that some references are ambiguous. However, there aren’t many of those. Instead of not capitalizing any, I would prefer that these pronouns not be capitalized when there is doubt, but capitalized when the reference clearly is to God. I find this practice gives God more respect, and it helps the reader to more easily understand the verses.

Gender Specificity

One of the big, emotionally charged issues in Bible translation today is how to translate the Greek word ἀδελφοί (brothers). Updated releases of the New International Version (2011), the Christian Standard Bible (2017), and others have, in many instances, changed the historical translation of “brothers” or “brethren,” to “brothers and sisters.” The NASB 2020 is doing the same. We’ll look at this in 1 Thessalonians 5:14, and then samples of gender related changes to the word “man” in Romans 2:1-11 and Micah 6:8, and the just released Psalm 19 which can inadvertently support mixed-orientation marriages.

Detractors of this practice see it as an effort to force a gender-neutral inclusiveness upon the Scriptures where non-exists. The defenders say the practice is more accurate to the original in cases where ἀδελφοί is not gender specific and is, instead, a reference to all believers. One example is 1 Thessalonians 5:14:

5:14 We urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASB 1995

5:14 We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone. NASB 2020

Personally, I prefer “brethren” in these instances because it reflects ancient unity among Christians, whereas “brothers and sisters” subtly perpetuates a modern division. However, I understand our times and the challenge that translators face.

The second example is in Romans 2:1-11. Overall the passage has some minor changes. A couple are helpful, most are unnecessary. However, in terms of gender changes the term “O man” in verse 3 is replaced with “you foolish person,” but to make it work the 2020 changes verses 1 and 3. This is an awkward injection into verse 1, as no gender wording previously existed there. (The bold is the new, the bracketed is the 1995 wording, other changes for these two verses are included too.) Check them out:

2:1. Therefore you have no excuse, you foolish person, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge someone else [another], you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things…

2:3. But do you suppose this, you foolish person [O man] who passes [when you pass] judgment on those who practice such things and yet does them as well [do the same yourself], that you will escape the judgment of God?

Interestingly, in verse 2:9, “man” is only changed to “mankind.”

2:9. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of mankind [man] who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek…

A third example is Micah 6:8. A comparison of the 1995 and 2020 versions shows that “O man” was changed to “a human”:

6:8. He has told you, O man, what is good… NASB 1995

6:8. He has told you, a human, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? NASB 2020

The Hebrew word here is “Adam.” In this verse, and elsewhere in Scripture, the word Adam is being used collectively to represent all of fallen humanity. The verse emphasizes God as the divine and holy Creator over against the created and fallen Adam and his descendants, particularly Israel. For this reason, I believe the original “O man” is clearer. Interestingly, the New International Version reads “O mortal,” which may be the best word choice of all. I think “a human” is noticeably awkward and inaccurate.

In Psalm 19:5, the quest for gender neutrality subtly appears to be more important to the translators than the accuracy of the translation itself. This verse is unnecessarily changed. And it is changed in a way that allows it to be interpreted as supporting mixed-gender marriage or de facto gender fluidity. Compare Psalm 19:5:

Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices as a strong man to run his course. NASB 1995

Which is like a groom coming out of his chamber; It rejoices like a strong person to run his course. NASB 2020

Although the words bridegroom and groom are often used interchangeably today, precise wording is important here if the biblical meaning is to be responsibly conveyed. By definition a bridegroom is a male who is about to, or has just, married a female bride. Historically, a groom was someone who groomed horses. In our ever-changing cultural norms, the word groom does not specifically identify the one marrying a bride as being male, nor does the word groom eliminate the possibility that two grooms getting married, in which case the personal male pronouns would support that conclusion.

The second half of the verse increases the gender confusion as the groom is said to be a strong person, not a strong man, despite the wording that the strong person runs his course. Readers or interpreters looking to inject gender identity confusion into the Scriptures will use these confusing and unnecessary changes to support their position, maybe this is what the NASB 2020 translators intend. Word precision in Bible translation matters. When a translation is accurate, changes create inaccuracies, or worse.

A Wordy James 5:16

On November 1, 2018, James 5:13–18 was posted. In this wonderful passage, only verse 16b has been changed. Compare:

The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. NASB 1995

A prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much. NASB 2020

The 2020 is unusually wordy for the NASB. The Greek, although a little difficult, is rather simple. The New Revised Standard Version captures it best, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” 

A Clearer Isaiah 53:4

On October 3rd, the Lockman Foundation posted their updated Isaiah 53:4–6 passage. Verses 5–6 have not been changed, but verse 4 has. It’s a minor change, but it’s clearer and aligns with most other translations. Compare:

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. NASB 1995

However, it was our sicknesses that He Himself bore, and our pains that He carried; Yet we ourselves assumed that He had been afflicted, struck down by God, and humiliated. NASB 2020

I like the language here. It makes clear that the people of Israel would erroneously assume that the suffering person was cursed by God and being severely punished for his own sin, but they will be completely mistaken as verse 53:5 makes clear.

A More Accurate Luke 1:26–38

Lockman posted the 2020 version of Luke 1:26–38 on November 8, 2018. Four words have been changed and two have been added. Due to the passage’s length, I have included the original 1995 words and put them in brackets. The two that were added are “but,” the first word in verse 34, and “also,” used in verse 35. The changed words make the passage more accurate. However, the added ones seem unnecessary, especially the “also.” Check it out:

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed [engaged] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was very perplexed at this statement, and was [kept] pondering what kind of greeting this was.

30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and give birth to a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

34 But Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; for that reason also the holy Child will be called the Son of God. 36 “And behold, even your relative Elizabeth herself has conceived a son in her old age, and she who was called infertile [barren] is now in her sixth month. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

38 And Mary said, “Behold, the Lord’s slave [bondslave]; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. Luke 1:26-38 NASB 2020

It’s interesting that they changed “engaged” to “betrothed” because the word engaged is common usage in our culture. However, our engagements are not legally binding as were their betrothals, which required a divorce to break. The betrothal period was usually a year. During this time the husband prepared a place for them to live, usually by adding a room onto the husband’s father’s house, the couple would marry after the room was ready. This is why Jesus said: “I go to prepare a place for you…and will come again to receive you to Myself,” (John 14:2-3 NASB).

The use of “infertile” instead of “barren” in verse 36 makes the condition immediately clear to today’s reader.

The change from “bondslave” to “slave” is an interesting one. “Slave” is more accurate to the Greek, but the English term “bondslave” helps us to better understand Mary’s meaning. Slavery in the Mosaic Law was limited to the repaying of debts, and to a period of six years. At the end of the six years, if the person was well treated, he could decide to stay with the “employer” for life. In calling herself a slave, Mary considered herself a servant of God for life.

What’s particularly interesting is that the NASB 2020 is switching from “bondslave” to “slave,” while the 2017 [Holman] Christian Standard Bible update switched from “slave” to “servant.” Slave is most accurate to the Greek word. However, from our perspective “bondservant” is closer to the practice of the culture.

A Mixed Deuteronomy 31:1-6

I have mixed views on the 2020 version of this passage. Some changes are welcomed, some unnecessary, and others are wordy. Again, I have put the 2020 translation in bold and bracketed the current version. You can make up your own mind about them.

1 So Moses went and spoke these words to all Israel.

2 And he said to them, “I am a hundred and twenty years old today; I am no longer able to go out and come in [come and go], and the LORD has told [said to] me, ‘You shall not cross this Jordan.’

3 It is the Lord your God who is going to [will] cross ahead of you; He Himself will destroy these nations before you, and you shall dispossess them. Joshua is the one who is going to [will] cross ahead of you, just as the LORD has spoken.

4 And the LORD will do to them just as He did to Sihon and Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land, when He destroyed them.

5 The LORD will turn them over to [deliver them up before] you, and you will [shall] do to them in accordance with all the commandments which I have commanded you.

6 Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or in dread of [tremble at] them, for the LORD your God is the One who is going with you. He will not desert [fail] you or abandon you.”

The welcomed changes are: “told” in v. 2; “And” in v. 4; “turn them over to,” and “will” in v. 5; and “abandon” in v. 6.

The unnecessary changes are: “Himself” in v. 3; “in dread of” and “desert” in v. 6.

The wordy changes are: “will” to “is going to,” twice in v. 3; “according to” to “in accordance with” in v. 5; and “goes” to “is going” in v. 6. I hope these wordy changes will not be made throughout the NASB 2020, as these are inferior choices. However, it does appear, from Colossians 2:8-15 below, that a blanket change throughout the update from “according to” to “in accordance with” is being made.

Disappointing Choices in John 1:14-18

14 And the Word became flesh, and made His home among us; and we saw His glory, glory as of the only 𝘚𝘰𝘯 [begotten] from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John testified about Him and called [cried] out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who is coming [comes] after me has proved to be my superior [a higher rank than I], because He existed before me.’”

16 For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

18 No one has seen God at any time; God the only 𝘚𝘰𝘯 [the only begotten God], who is in the arms [bosom] of the Father, He has explained 𝘏𝘪𝘮. John 1:14-18 NASB 2020

In verse 14, the change from “dwelt” to “made His home,” is both a poor choice and a missed opportunity. The Greek word is “tabernacled,” and that is the word that all translations should use here. John is referring to the powerful Old Testament significance of God’s presence in the Tabernacle of Moses but now, John says, God is incarnate among us in the divine/human person of Jesus of Nazareth. To say He “made His home” is empty of significance. Everyone makes a home somewhere, but only God tabernacles among His people. They should have kept “dwelt.”

The changes in verse 15 are weak. Someone “calling out” has a less intensity than one “crying out.” Also, “is coming,” has a less prophetic emphasis than the original “comes after.” “Proved to be my superior,” is weaker than emphasizing rank because God the Son didn’t prove anything by being eternal in divine nature. He ranked higher because of it.

Over the years there has been much debate and emotion as to how to best translate verse 18. The NASB 2020 has sided with the NIV, CSB, and the NRSV translators by using “God the only Son.”

The Lost Poetry of Psalm 27

1 The Lᴏʀᴅ is my light and my salvation; Whom should I fear? The Lᴏʀᴅ is the defense of my life; Whom should I dread? 

2 When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. 

3 If an army encamps [Though a host encamp] against me, My heart will not fear; If [Though] war arises against me, In 𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘵𝘦 𝘰𝘧 this I am [shall be] confident.

4 One thing I have asked from the Lᴏʀᴅ, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lᴏʀᴅ all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lᴏʀᴅ And to meditate in His temple.

5 For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; He will hide me in the secret place of His tent; [In the secret place of His tent He will hide me]. He will lift me up on a rock.

6 And now my head will be lifted up above my enemies around me, And I will offer sacrifices in His tent [in His tent sacrifices] with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lᴏʀᴅ.

7 Hear, O Lᴏʀᴅ, when I cry with my voice, And be gracious to me and answer me.

8 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “I shall seek Your face, O Lᴏʀᴅ.” [Your face, O LORD I shall seek.]

9 Do not hide Your face from me, Do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!

10 For my father and my mother have forsaken me, But the Lᴏʀᴅ will take me up. 11 Teach me Your way, O Lᴏʀᴅ, And lead me on a level path Because of my enemies .

12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my enemies, For false witnesses have risen against me, And 𝘵𝘩𝘦 violent witness .

13 I certainly [would have despaired unless I had] believed that I would see the goodness of the Lᴏʀᴅ In the land of the living.

14 Wait for the Lᴏʀᴅ; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lᴏʀᴅ. Psalm 27 NASB 2020

The translation choices here miss the poetic placement and strength of the 1995 translation. For example, verse 5 originally emphasized God’s personal protection of the psalmist, the new wording emphasizes the tent. I don’t think the psalmist is as interested in being in a tent as he is in being protected by God. If you want to emphasize something, especially in poetry, you place it last in the sentence. The correct emphasis is also lost in verse 8. The change in verse 12b also blunts the original wording: “such as breathe out violence.” And verse 13 also loses poetic power. And the change from “enemy,” in several verses, has less poetic punch than “adversary” or “foe.” However, I do like verse 3 where “host” is changed to “army.” That’s the only change I’d keep.

“Transgressions” to “Offenses” in Colossians 2:8-15

8 See to it that there is no one who takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception in accordance with human tradition [according to the tradition of men], in accordance with the elementary principles of the world, rather than in accordancewith [according to] Christ.

9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over every ruler and authority;

10 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision performed without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ,

11 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised [up] with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.

13 When you were dead in your offenses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our offenses [transgressions],

14 having canceled the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮, having triumphed over them through Him. Colossians 2:8-15 NASB 2020

There are few changes in this passage. I would have preferred that only  “human tradition” in verse 8 and “every” in verse 9 were made. In current culture, the word “offense” has little significance as people are offended by almost anything, and the latest offenses are determined at the speed and whimsy of Twitter. The original word “transgression,” or as most all translations read “trespasses,” is more accurate to the legal perspective of our wrongdoing against God’s Law. We don’t offend the Law. We are dead in our sins because we broke or transgressed God’s Law.

We also see, as in Deuteronomy 31:1-6 above, the continued practice of changing “according to” to the wordier “in accordance with.”

A Few Good Changes to Joshua 1:1-9

1 Now it came about after the death of Moses the servant of the Lᴏʀᴅ, that the Lᴏʀᴅ spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ servant, saying,

2 “My servant Moses is dead; now therefore arise, cross this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them, to the sons of Israel.

3 Every place on which the sole of your foot steps , I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses.

4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon, even as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and as far as the Great Sea toward the setting of the sun will be your territory.

5 No one [man] will 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰 oppose [stand before] you all the days of your life. Just as I have been with Moses, I will be with you; I will not desert [fail] you nor abandon you.

6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them.

7 Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the Law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may achieve [have] success wherever you go.

8 This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will achieve [have] success.

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not be terrified [tremble] nor [or be] dismayed, for the Lᴏʀᴅ your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:1-9 NASB 2020

There are just a few changes here. They’re pretty good.


The 2020 update contains more significant changes than did the 1995 update. Overall, there are gender neutral language changes and subtle changes that can support gender fluidity beliefs. As for the translation itself, and as noted above, some changes are good, some are irrelevant, some are wordy, and some are poor. It’s pluses and minuses. Despite my long-term use of the NASB, and for the enthusiastic hope I had for a great 2020 update, there are more minuses than pluses. I am greatly disappointed. It seems clear that the translation philosophy, and goals of the NASB 2020 team are inconsistent with those of previous NASB translation teams. The 2020 effort is a lost opportunity.

If you’re interested in knowing which is the #1 Selling Bible and which is the most read see my post: The #1 Read Bible vs The Bestselling Bible.

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Rob Oberto, D.Min, is the award-winning author of Intimacy with God and editor of the Introduction to the Devout Life, both are available from Amazon. ©2018-2021 Rob Oberto, All Rights Reserved.

19 thoughts on “NASB 2020 Update News and Review

  1. Over the decades I’ve preferred the wording of my ’77 NASB over the NIV. I memorized verses in early 70s from KJV. Anyway, the reason for my comment:
    Recently, I read Psalms 8:5 from NASB and I thought there was an error.
    KJV: (man)…made a little lower than heavenly beings; NIV …made a little lower than the angels. ☆NASB:..a little lower than God.
    Not comfortable with the later…so thought to share, hoping for thoughtful response to my concern.

    1. Colleen, you ask a good question. Why the differences in the translation of Psalm 8:5? Does the Hebrew word Elohim (אֱלֹהִים), in this verse, mean God, angels, or heavenly beings? When translations differ, like they do here, it usually indicates that the original biblical word can have several meanings and the translators are choosing the one they believe best fits the context of the passage. The translators also usually include a notation of the other viable translations.

      Elohim is a masculine plural form of El (אֵל, el). Lexically, this word has several meanings; in Scripture, it typically means “God” or “gods” and also refers to Yahweh (יהוה, yhwh)—Jehovah in KJV, the God of Israel. Elohim in Gen 1:1, for example, is God who created the heavens and the earth, Who is none other than the triune Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

      Elohim is translated God 2,326 times in the Old Testament. Yahweh is also often the one referred to as Elohim in Pss 42–83, which are known as the Elohistic Psalms. In comparison, the second most frequent translation of Elohim in the OT is god which occurs 45 times as in Exod 12:12; 18:11 where it refers to the gods of Egypt, and foreign gods in Josh 24:20, 23. Elohim is extremely rarely translated “angels” or “heavenly beings” or “sons of the mighty” (Psalm 29:1), but when it is, these phrases are translating the Hebrew phrase (בְּנֵ֣י אֵלִ֑ים, beney elim, elim being the root of the word Elohim. (Lexham Bible Dictionary).

      However, getting back to Psalm 8:5. The word is simply Elohim, and the Psalmist is drawing the simple, yet powerful, contrast between the majesty of Yahweh, “O LORD” (1:1), who created the splendor of the heavens, the work of Yahweh’s fingers, to the lowliness of Man. In verse 5, the writer states that, in comparison to Elohim, the God of Israel who created everything, the One who is Lord over all creation, Man was made a little lower than Elohim (God, heavenly beings, angels). The Psalmist’s point is that Man is short of being divine because he is a creature, God’s most special creature, but still just made from the earth (Gen 2:7), and certainly incapable of creating the heavens and the earth, and anything else out of nothing, and yet He crowned him with glory and majesty to rule over the works of God’s hands and He put all things under his feet.

      So, who was Man made lower than, what is the most likely translation of the Psalmist’s original meaning? Well, since this Psalm is focused on Almighty God, the Creator of all things (Elohim), and since Elohim is translated God 90% of the time in the OT. The Psalmist probably meant that Elohim made Man a little lower than (Elohim) God.

      1. Looking at the passage, it appears that the LXX rendered Elohim as ἀγγέλους. Would that not count as evidence in favor of the other translation?

      2. Alex, you are right. Some translations side with the LXX in OT verses that are quoted from the LXX in the NT. This verse is a case in point.

  2. Thanks for your review Dr. Rob. I will avoid the NASB 2020 and eagerly await the Master’s Seminary Standard Legacy Bible as a viable alternative.

  3. What are your thoughts on the recently announced Legacy Standard Bible that John MacArthur? It’s supposed to be a revision of the 95NASB.

  4. Overall, I like the 2020 Update. I respect those of you who object to the gender inclusive language and used to take the same view but do not any longer. If from the context it is clear both males and females are included, why is it objectionable to word it that way. Most recent translations other than ESV have done this, and translators of those translations are still largely complementarian and not egalitarian on roles for the two sexes in home and church. Lockman may lose some readers by taking this approach but if they do not I fear they will just fade away. There has been a seismic shift in the language, we have to accept that. Also many females feel excluded if strictly male language is employed, in cases where, again, the context makes clear it is covering both. I just think we have to move on, this is not impacting any central doctrines.

    1. Peter, thank you for posting. I agree with the heart, perspective, and intent of your comment. I’d like to post on this question soon, because it should be this simple. Your last sentence is the essential issue that raises critical questions. Is there a central doctrine involved? And at what point does of the “seismic shift in language,” which represents a seismic shift in world-view, genuinely affect translation and at what point does translation pander to it because the world-view rebels against that central doctrine? Tough questions. Essentially, we could ask, “How did Israelites willingly slip into idolatry and sacrifice their children to Molech?”

      1. Thank you Rob. I do suspect I am a “minority report” on this blog, at least as far as gender neutral or inclusive (or some would say “accurate”) language is concerned. I think it is a complex subject and I try not to be dogmatic on it. As I indicated, I used to oppose it. I try to avoid black and white or mutually exclusive zero sum type statements, so I would let the reader decide what speaks better to them (to him? or to him or her?). I guess I am not in favor of telling everyone they should use a gender neutral translation on the one hand, or a traditional more male focused translation on the other hand. I just don’t think we should question the other side’s motives or orthodoxy. I am an educated person but a layman in theology, not trained in Hebrew or Greek, but from what I understand, as one example, the word “adelphoi” can legitimately be translated “brothers and sisters” if it is clear from the context, it does not always have to be translated just as “brothers.” Even the staunchly conservative ESV puts that in footnotes. I guess I am hesitant to say that a seismic shift in the language, to the extent that is accurate, necessarily implies a movement away from faithfulness. Language changes. As an example, I am personally not a big fan of the NIV, for various reasons not related to this topic, but I note they have with their 2011 edition gone over to gender inclusive language, and many have dropped it for this reason. But I don’t want to question the motives or faithfulness of the translators, for the most part they are complementarians, not egalitarians. We can disagree with them but should not in my view accuse them of pandering. Or to come at it from another angle, I often think about how the apostle Paul, or Christ Himself if he re-appeared in the flesh, would address a mixed group of men and women at a church meeting if they were to appear in today’s culture. Do you think he/they would address the group as “men” or “brothers?” I guess I do not think so. For a me, it is hard to understand why it is somehow a test of orthodoxy to insist that we continue to call women brothers or men. When I stated that inclusive language does not appear to have impacted central doctrines, what I was alluding to is that none of them, so far as I know, not even the NRSV, or NIV or the recent CSB which adopted a judicious use of inclusive language, has changed the texts on topics like the husband being the head of the wife, or I Tim. 2:12 and similar verses which seem to restrict teaching and ruling elder roles to males. I know some do quibble a bit at recent variations of one or two words in these texts. But certainly the versions that are now employing gender neutral language have not, from what I have seen, questioned the more key central doctrines of deity of Christ, virgin birth, resurrection, second coming, authority of Scripture, ascension, substitutionary atonement, etc. But I will respect those of you who still feel that gender inclusive language is a compromise and who prefer to use more traditional language.

      2. Peter, I understand your position and reasoning, most of the time it’s a straight forward translation decision, particularly with adelphoi.

  5. I’m a user of the NASB 1995. It’s my go to version. It does capture the original language quite well. However, by going to Gender Specificity rules like others newer translations is a mistake. I’ll not be buying the new version because of this need not to offend anyone by language usage. I and quite many others) very disappointed with this.
    No $$$ from me.

    1. This is very disappointing news on the NASB 2020. I will not be supporting it. My NASB 1977 is in for the long haul.

      1. I prefer the ’77 version also.
        I’m not excited about the 2020 but I am looking forward to the Legacy Standard Bible.
        But in the meantime I’ll keep the NASB77.

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